Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Mentally Prepare to Transition?

Another post I shared on Nappturality that I felt I needed to share with you guys!!!!

The answer below was my answer to the question: "How Does One Mentally Prepare to Transition???"

Fortunately for me, I did not have alot of negativity surrounding me when I decided to transition.
I was on my way out of college, ready to start a new life in a new place. My family was very supportive (even though there was no way they were going to do the same and that was clear, lol),

My job accepted it well (although I WAS nervous about that - I just recieved a couple of "?" stares which was fine with me as long as I didn't receive any negative comments),

My boyfriend accepted it better than I thought he was going to. He doesn't favor short hair, so that was more of a problem than the ditching the relaxers and going natural part. He eventually has gotten used to it.

Before I went natural, I never knew what the reactions were going to be from anyone. I kinda thought there would be mixed emotions from different people. However, I knew that regardless of what everybody else felt, noone would be able to deter me from my goal - being a fabulous natural and never touching a relaxer again.

I made sure to find a resource for support (Nappturality), and whenever I'm having a bad day with my hair, I need help/advice, I get frustrated, receive negativity (which I have yet to receive thank God), need to vent about ignorant remarks or negative social trends that I need to talk about that I feel the outside world would not understand, - I come here. Whatever you do in life, a support system is NECESSARY in order to fully succeed and still be mentally stable. You can NEVER achieve anything of value completely alone.

Once you have made that decision, and have that support system, and patience - cut that hair off and move forward. Don't let it hold you back. Cut it off before you have a chance to go back. You'll regret it later. Just make sure you have that support system....those telling you "You can DO IT! - If you just have patience and the will to learn"

Happy Growing!!!!

Advice To Newly Naturals

I had posted this response to a thread on the one and only online hair forum that I participate in: Nappturality , and felt like I should share the same wealth of knowledge here. It might seem basic to some of you, but there are plenty of  threads started asking these same questions. So, hopefully this will help someone on my blog as well! Hope this Helps!!!!! Happy Growing!

Basically, the poster stated: HELP! I am a newly natural, and I need help because I don't know where to start!!!??????? How do I do my hair? What products should I use????

My advice to her?

#1: Patience is Key! - You are new to your natural locks, and it will take time to participate in trial and error. Don't stress because it does take time to learn your hair and to see positive results all around.

#2: Research! - Search online on forums, blogs, Youtube, etc to find out the hair's natural chemistry and transitioning/TWA styles to help you get started. Research hair characteristics such as porosity, protein sensitivity, strand diameter, hair volume (strands of hair per square inch), etc. These are things that will be beneficial to know about your hair while searching for products to use for your hair. Once you figure out those things about your hair, it will be easier to search for products that compliment your type of hair.

#3: Experiment, Experiment, Experiment! - There is no one product that works for everybody. Every single person has their own unique type of hair that can only be mastered if one experiments with the products that you feel would compliment your hair type from #2. Some products will bite the dust quick, but some you will see immense progress with. I'm 6 months natural, and I'm still looking for a good shampoo for my hair. So don't fret, just remember #1.

#4: Don't Overdo It! - Start out with a simple regimen: a shampoo, a conditioner, a leave-in, and a sealant.1) Shampoo - This will cleanse your hair of all the build-up that has accumulated from the products you use on a daily basis (the leave-in and sealant). This shampoo should be sulfate-free (and protein-free if your hair does not like protein - which you will find out eventually. How can you tell? Research the topic "protein sensitivity"). Sulfates tend to strip your hair of EVERYTHING - including the essential moisture that you want to keep.

2) Conditioner - After shampooing, your hair needs to be infused with moisture. The conditioner coats your strands externally, to give them the protection and moisture from external drying forces.

3)Leave-in/Daily Moisturizer - This gives your hair MOISTURE, MOISTURE, MOISTURE. The conditioner, you rinse-out. This conditioner, you leave-in your hair to give you all-day moisture. Depending on your hair type (and when I say "hair-type" I do not mean 3a-4a-4b, I mean whether you are protein sensitive, low/normal/high porosity, thick/thin strands), you might need a loose, water-based leave-in or a heavy, concentrated moisturizer. Some even use a spritz for this step. Some leave-in conditioner mixed with water, etc. Check the homemade products forum to research. Experimenting will help you figure this out.

4) Sealant - Apply this after applying your leave-in or moisturizer. This will trap the moisture into your hair strands (kinda like oil/water) and help you retain the moisture that you gave your hair with the leave-in/moisturizer. Experiment with different sealants to see what you see the most progress with. Some use an oil such as olive oil, castor oil - Some use a thick butter such as shea butter. Some use no sealant (because they use such a heavy leave-in/moisturizer.

And in closing (LOL!) - Always, Always, Always remember #1: Patience is Key!

Hope this Helps and Good luck on your journey!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's Going On in My Life? - ****UPDATE****

Hey Everyone:
     I know I had told you guys in the earlier post that I would make a post explaining WHAT has been keeping me so busy in my everyday life. WELL, on Christmas Day of last year, my boyfriend of 4 years (we have a 4 yr old son...you do the math ;-D ) PROPOSED.....(finally...Thank Ya Jesus!)


 I was SO excited.....perhaps a little bit TOO excited. I created a website, told Facebook AND twitter (my tweets are protected and I have high security on my FB profile), told my family and friends, chose my bridal party, set a wedding date, set a budget, ALLLLLLL within a week of Christmas. Yeah, I know that was a little crazy but I was just wayyyyy too excited!!!!

By New Years, my boyfriend had made me promise not to discuss anything "marriage/wedding" until after New Years...that's how much I was talking about it. Anywho, I did take a break during New Year's, however, once I got back to reality, I jumped straight in. I am a VERY organized and am a "planning" type of person, so I like to know what's going on at ALL times. I also do NOT like feeling stressed about ANYTHING, so I like to start preparing early. BUT, I have not forgotten my hair in the midst of all of this wedding business, and have been wearing a twist-out from some twists that I had been wearing for a little over a week. I did these twists using Oyin's Whipped Pudding + Oyin's Shine & Define. I got good results. My twists stayed moisturized, however I can never figure out how to keep my hair from itching after a week. :-( More experimenting to come!


Two - Strand Twists on Damp Hair


Twist-Out from Week Old Two-Strand Twists Shown Above
I also had suddenly gotten the urge to start watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta due to some random episode watching (I do NOT like starting to watch series unless I have seen the ENTIRE season from start to finish). So I've been watching that - I've started Season 3, so I'm close to being caught up!!!

Hope everyone is having a blessed week and continue doing so! Stay Tuned!!!!

NPPYHR102: Important Things to Know About Your Hair Pt. I - Curl Pattern

Hi Everyone!!!!


Whoosh, I have been so busy in the last few weeks! If you want to check out what's keeping me busy, check out my next "quickie" post and I will let you know what's been keeping me away from you guys! Anywhoo, I hope everyone's year has gotten off to a productive and positive note, as mine has. I am looking forward to great things this year (including SL - My hair has not been SL in a MINUTE, maybe about 4-5 years!)

SO, on to my next topic of conversation. When one first makes the decision to transition to their natural locks, many, many questions arise. One of the biggest questions, perhaps, is where to start in looking for the type of products that work best for your hair type.

Now, when one hears the term "hair-type", they usually think of hair type in terms of an individual's "curl pattern". Knowing one's curl pattern WILL help in your search for what products & ingredients agree with your hair, however, it is not as much of an impact on hair success as a newly natural may think. Now, I know this will be hard to grasp, since curl-pattern "hair-typing" is HUGE in the natural hair community, however, it is important to understand that the curl pattern is not just all that matters when it comes to learning what does/doesn't work for your hair. Please keep that in mind as we learn about curl-patterns and how they help in your natural journey. Another thing to keep in mind is to NOT be discouraged if you do not identify with either of these photos/descriptions that you see described below. A curl pattern is just that - a curl pattern. It describes NOTHING ELSE about your hair other than the pattern of your curl - not the frizziness, hair density, strand size, etc. There is not another head on this planet that has the exact same hair as you. :-)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are many hair-typing systems out there other than the 2 I've chosen to discuss today. Be sure to extend your research outside of the realms of this blog, as Knowledge is Power!

The L.O.I.S. Hair Typing System
L - If the hair has all bends, right angles and folds with little to no curve then you are daughter L.

O - If the strand is rolled up into the shape of one or several zeros like a spiral, then you are daughter O.

I - If the hair lies mostly flat with no distinctive curve or bend you are daughter I.

S - If the strand looks like a wavy line with hills and valleys then you are daughter S.

You may have a combination of the LOIS letters, possibly with one dominant. If you cannot see one letter over the others, then combine the letters. Example: LO or IL or OS..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Andre' Walker Hair Typing System - (from Curlz.Biz)

     Type 1: Straight Hair               Type 2: Wavy Hair
       Type 3: Curly Hair              Type 4: Kinky Hair

(read more from Curl.Biz here)

Now, do NOT use these descriptions for ALL aspects of your locks, ONLY your curl "pattern". There are many more aspects to your hair that you must take into consideration when product searching and experimenting with your hair. However, I hope this artical on "curl-patterns" has been helpful to you. Want to continue your knowledge search in curl-pattern typing? Check out these great links: (Some go more in-depth with hair typing including curl-pattern, hair porosity, strand size (density), hair volume, etc.)

All in all, remember: Don't buy too much into the "curl-pattern" hair typing hype when trying to figure out what does and doesn't work for you hair. Look at the bigger picture and learn ALL aspects of your hair in order to determine what works best for YOUR hair. And that knowledge really and truly comes with a combination of learning the different aspects of your hair (porosity level, strand size/density, volume, protein/moisture balance/tightness of coils, etc.) and experimenting. Hope you enjoyed today, see you soon!

***Note: Next, we will go further into learning all about your hair with learning the meaning and importance of hair porosity. Have a blessed day!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Natural Hair 101 Part II - Handling Negativity


source

When you decided to transition from relaxed to natural, or if you have been natural for quite some time now, have you ever gotten comments such as:

"OMG! Why'd you cut your hair???"
"Are you growing locks?"
"I bet it would look SO good if you straightened it...."
"I liked you better with longer/relaxed/etc. hair!!!"
"So you're into Neo-Soul?"

Ya'll know the list could go on and on and on......

We all know these comments are going to come, regardless of the amount of people that you DO have actually supporting you. A big number of people, interestingly, are always invested (in some way, if only just for curiosity purposes) in other people's lives and what they choose to do with them (that's why drama-filled reality shows make such a killing). Some people feel like just because you two have spoken before, work together, etc that they can really question your choices and actually expect to get an answer.

source
Now, honestly, there is a simple way to deal with these questions/comments. I choose the route of "If they're ignorant, educated them!!!!" And it also really depends on how well you know the person who is making the comments. No matter what, don't let another person change the views that you have already set for yourself. Take this time as an opportunity for you to shed light on an issue that NEEDS attention. If you want opinions in order to make a decision about something, then, of course, be open to everyone's suggestions. However, in the realm of "natural hair", we all know opinions are going to come, regardless of whether they are asked for or not, unfortunately.

Also, the way YOU deal with the comments may not be the same way I deal with the comments. In any case, I do think you should not allow those comments to have a negative affect on your natural hair choices. I also think that no matter what, people should not take these comments personally, because you have to realize that just because you have chosen to embrace your natural hair, doesn't mean that everyone will see the "light". No matter how healthy your hair grows out to be, how long it becomes, how FIERCE is turns out, SOME folk will never acknowledge that natural hair is a good thing. Now, let's move on to how to deal depending on how well you know the person making such comments.

Randoms, GDI's, Co-Workers, etc:
These folks can sometimes be downright oblivious to the ignorance of their own comments. Don't expect ANYTHING like right from random people. Sometimes you'll get ignorant, "positive" comments such as "Girl, you got that "good" hair and "If my natural hair was like yours, I'd consider going natural myself", and other times you'll get ignorant, "negative" comments such as "Why did you cut your hair, you looked SO much better with long, straight hair - or - relaxed hair". Ugh! I know that your internal thoughts may be along the lines of "Oh NO you didn't!", or "Girl, you got the wrong one!", or "Please Lord, help me not to choke this person!!!". You're going to question LONG and HARD as to HOW in the world people think it's o.k. to say such things to people they hardly know????? Do you know how you sound right now????

You have to think about it like this. Remember when YOU were relaxed? Do YOU ever remember saying things like "I can't WAIT to get a perm" as you "pat your head trying to rid yourself of the itchies" - or - "Going natural aint for everybody" - or - "That stuff is NAPPPPYYYY!" - or - "Someone needs to slap a perm in their head". C'mon now. Think long and hard. OR, if you've never been relaxed, try to think about the fact that there is a true, true ignorance among the ethnic community that has been perpetuated in every single aspect of the media that burns into the minds of individuals that "beautiful" is straight, non-nappy, loose-curly, relaxed hair. It's just the truth. And just because you have been blessed with the truth and knowledge that natural hair can be beautiful, too, doesn't mean that everybody has reached that level, yet. Have mercy on them!!!! Whatever the case, do NOT go off on people. Because you know what that makes you look like? The "angry black woman". And once you go into that realm, the effectiveness of whatever words you're about to/in the process of laying in front of them, will be ignored and you will just be standing there looking crazy. What if someone came at you like that about something? You'd probably be like...."Dang it's just ________ ! If I offended you, why didn't you just say something? And not jump down my throat about it?"

Those outside the realm of natural hair, and those that do not know you all that well, do not understand that it is something near and dear to you, and they do not really understand why. Instead of snapping on someone, take this as a time to spread knowledge about what natural hair really is, why it's not a bad thing, and how it really can be beautiful. Samples anyone?

Random: "Your beautiful hair!! Why'd you cut it????"
Natural: "Well, I just realized that I was really damaging it with heat and relaxers. Our hair is not meant to be straightened like that, so when it is, it causes damage. Relaxers contain harmful and damaging chemicals and instead of helping our hair strands, they really turn out damaging the internal structure of the hair. I think my natural hair is beautiful as well, and what's best about it is, it's healthy.

Random: "Are you growing locks?"
Natural: "No." - you can go further in your explanation, but this is my general answer. *shrug*

Random: "I liked you better before!!!"
Natural: There are plenty of ways to attack this one. But to make them "get it", throw them a light, non-agressive curveball: "You would've hated me once all my hair fell out *laugh*" - or - "It'll grow on you, you'll see!" - or - *smile & shrug* lol

Random: "You're into Neo-Soul?"
Natural: "No, just accepting the fact that there's nothing wrong with my natural hair. I'm still the same person, otherwise." - or - "No, but I do love me some <insert some off-the-wall artist in no way related to neo-soul music (Justin Bieber)" LOL!

Relatives, Close Friends, etc.
These are the worst, not only because you probably deal with it more often, but also because these can strike an emotional nerve in your psyche. It's best to nip these in the bud before they get out of hand. If these are people that you really feel close to, you should feel comfortable enough with being honest with these and "tellin it like it is". I'm not saying that this is the time for you to be the "angry black woman" because they will be o.k. with it, but it is a time for you to really communicate how you feel about the issue in a positive way. If you value the relationship you have with these people, take out the time to explain to them why you honestly chose to have natural hair, and the benefits of doing so. Tell them how it makes you feel inside to hear comments going against your personal choices. Tell them that you would rather them offer you support in the things that you choose to do with your hair (and your life in general). It's hard enough to do with outsiders unknowingly bringing you down, hopefully they won't join the group. Explain to them that just because they see it differently, doesn't mean they have to bring you down by saying unnecessary things. Even if it's a small, dismissable comment, explain how and why you're negatively affected by such comments and you'd appreciate your friendship if they respected that. If they're your TRUE friend, they'll respect that and hold themselves to it. Perhaps, after seeing how deeply you care about your hair, and how it is thriving so by not putting harmful chemicals or applying heat to everyday, they'll even begin to see the beauty in it and be encouraged to do the same.

I said it before, and I'll say it again: "If they're ignorant, educated them!!!!"

Stay Tuned!!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Natural Hair Goals (EXTRA CREDIT!!!!)

Hi Guys!!!!

Well, I know I said that my next post would be NPPYHR101: Pt II (discussing how to handle discouragement throughout your natural hair journey), however, I felt the need to start out the year with some goals for my(and maybe yours if you like them enough!) natural hair. I had to go back in my mind to the point at which I decided to transition from relaxed to natural and focus on WHY I decided to do that.

Well then, I realized that my goals have changed quite a bit due to my lack in research at the time and what I know now about maintaining the healthiness of natural hair. When I first decided to go natural, I really just wanted to get away from the damaging effects of the relaxer. I no longer wanted to have thin, scraggly hair that wouldn't grow and that did nothing for my inner and outer beauty. I really didn't think about how I would style my natural hair, what sort of products I would use (organic, commercial, homemade, no-no ingredients, etc.), or what I would/wouldn't choose to do with my natural hair. All I knew is that I wanted to rid my hair of the relaxer. Period.



Now, here it is, 5+ months 100% natural, and I find myself and the goals that I have for my hair have expanded outside of the realm of just ridding myself of the relaxer. That part was easy for me. Now, since I've done that, I've researched natural hair enough and have learned my hair enough to also come to some other conclusions and goals for my hair (really just one big one that encompasses alot of smaller goals)

Work to improve all aspects of maintaining healthy hair.
There are some aspects of healthy hair that cannot be changed due to genetics. However, ALOT of maintaining/growing healthy hair can be up to the individual. You can work to improve the healthiness of your hair so that the only thing from keeping from growing to your feet is genetics. :-) I want my hair to be as healthy and as long as my genetics will allow, therefore, I plan on working to improve everything that I possibly can in order to do that. The areas of improvement that I will be looking at this year came from Kimmaytube's YT channel. I don't take everything she says for gold, however, she made a very influential video (in my opinion) about the things to take into consideration when maintaining/growing healthy hair. Most of the items discussed we already know about, but it's good for me to see them all in one place so that I can keep my focus. Click the link below the picture to view the full video:


The things listed in her video to concentrate on includes:
Internal Factors
  • Stress
  • Exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Hormones
  • Genetics
External Factors
  • Scalp
  • Washing
  • Conditioning
  • Trimming
  • Protective Styling

Some things that I have chosen to focus on include:
Exercise, Nutrition, and ALL of the external factors. My reasons for exercise and nutrition span beyond that of natural hair (I want to lose 20+ pounds), however, it's always great to kill 2 birds with one stone.

Exercise:

I plan on exercising (running - this is the only way that I can force myself to work out) for a minimum of 180 minutes a week. I plan on running at a speed of at least 4mph. I also plan on doing strength workouts twice a week (after running). Hopefully, I can find a buddy to run with me. I used to do Zumba while I was in grad school, however that was with a fee-based gym, and I think I could exercise without having to pay. (my apartment has a small gym with a treadmill and I do some strength exercises at my house)

Nutrition:

I plan on starting to use my weight watchers points/materials again. When I used this diet plan, I tended to be able to control my hunger, portions, and meal execution alot better. I think it's because I need to have a laid-out plan for myself in order for me to hold to it - a plan that is constantly "controlled" and never-changing. That gives me a sense of stability and confidence that I know how everything will go if I do this. It worked for the latter part of 2009-early part of 2010, and I lost 20+ pounds, however, I started to fall off around spring/summer time of 2010, due to lack of motivation. I'm ready to give it a go for a second time! :)

External Factors:

These are the things that are strictly for my hair. I have always taken good care of my hair since being
100% natural in terms of washing/conditioning, and paying attention to my scalp. However, I haven't trimmed my hair, and I'm not sure yet if I need to. I am going to research methods of figuring out whether or not I need to trim and, if I do, how to go about that. I'll make a post later on on this particular topic. I also plan to keep my hair in protective styles for at least 60% of the entire year.



My first Attempt @ Finger Coils =
 Didn't Like It - Too Scalpy

Second Set of Twists

My hair is a little over 3 inches, so I can now do protective styles like finger coils and two-stranded twists. I styled my hair twice in two-strand twists last year and they turned out well. I kept them in for a week and then took them out, washed, conditioned, and deep conditioned. I'm still also trying to figure out whether I NEED to deep condition. I've only deep conditioned about 3 times, and I'm trying to see if I see a difference when I do and when I don't. I'll keep you posted on that. I think I'm going to plan on sticking with the two-strand twists and try new styles in between. I'm going to also start to leave the twists in longer than a week and just wash the twists in between weeks. We'll see how that turns out.

Ok. I think I've written my fair share for today. Please tell me if you think I should shorten my posts, I know that they are a bit lengthy. Also, share your goals for this year for your hair. I'm interested to see what you plan on doing to care for your hair!

Stay Tuned!!!! :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

NPPYHR101: Making the Decision - From Relaxed to Natural Pt. I


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
I am so excited to share the very first (official) post on my blog with all of you! :) I wish all of you the very BEST that life has to offer to you and your family. Hopefully, the information that you gain from "Nappy Hair University" will be as beneficial to you as it will be for me.

SO, my first post is going to be about the process of making the decision to transition from relaxed hair to  natural hair.


But first, I must define what having "natural hair" means to me. I decided to transition from relaxed to natural hair in February 2010, and in those (currently) 11 months, I've come to realize that there are MANY people - relaxed, texurized, natural, etc. - that have a variety of definitions for what they feel is "natural hair". So, when I state my definition for "natural hair", it is just that: MY definition. Do not take it as FACT, it is just my opinion on the matter.

Natural Hair: "Hair that has not been permanently altered by any substance or tool."

It's just that simple for me. Once your hair "permanently" moves from its "natural" state, it is no longer "natural". This means that for me, when one uses relaxers, texurizers, heat (to the point where it permanently alters your hair), "natural relaxers (that permanently alter your hair), etc. - ANYTHING that "permanently" alters the "natural" state of your hair, one no longer has "natural hair".

Now, don't get me wrong, I do not have ANYTHING whatsoever against ANYONE who chooses to do those things. The majority of my friends are still relaxed, relaxer-free (with permanently altered hair - meaning that they keep their hair pressed all day, every day, and the curl patten has been permanently loosened), wear wigs, weave, etc. and I still hang with them, chill and have a GOOD ole time. One of my friends even said, "Going natural ain't for everybody", which completely makes no sense AT ALL to me, and we just recently had lunch and went to a hookah bar the other day. There are a few that are natural, as well. I am not opinionated on whatever one chooses to do with their hair, I am opinionated on "why" one chooses to do it. Do you do it because you TRULY like another type of style (even though that is void because you can do any style you'd like and still be natural), or do you inwardly, subconsciously feel that natural hair is unmanageable, too hard, you won't fit in, etc. BUT, :-), that subject is left for another course.

On to the course at hand: making the decision to transition from relaxed to natural hair. The first question, I supposed, that is asked is: "Why should I go natural?" Well, there are PLENTY of good reasons to do so. Let's look at some of those reasons.

1) Being Chemical Free:
There are wayyyyyyyyyyy too many damaging chemicals/substances/ingredients in relaxers, texturizers, and other products that were created to permanently loosen one's curl pattern. I will make seperate posts concerning the damaging effects of each, but I think we can all agree that those type of products are not healthy for the hair, no matter how less frequently you get them. Yes, I know there are plenty of ladies/gentlemen out there who have a full, thick head of hair, little to no split ends, so on and so on. However, the fact still remains that they do, in fact, damage the hair over time. No matter how healthy hair looks from the naked eye, the true test comes when you look at the internal healthiness of the hair strands. How does chemically altered hair look in comparison to unaltered, natural hair? Drastically different.

Now, I don't want people to think that just because you go natural, this automatically means your hair will be healthy. Just like one has to take care of their hair while relaxed, the same goes when you transition to natural hair. You will still have to clean and maintain your natural hair including washing/co-washing, moisturizing, sealing, and just taking care of your hair in general. No one's hair, natural or not, takes care of itself.

2) More Variety of Styling Options:
With natural hair, your hair has the potential to look any sort of way you want. If you like the look of tiny, tight coils, you can do mini-twists and take them out after they dry. If you want that crinkled look, you can rock a braid out. If you want that straighter look, you can stretch it out, or use a minimal amount of heat to straighten it out even further (even though this has its risks and negative side-effects as stated above - this will be discussed in a seperate post). If you want a big ass afro (BAA), you can stretch out your hair and brush it out to rock that style. If you want big curls, you can roll your hair up using the larger-sized rods (there are many other ways to achieve the big curls look, check out you-tube!!!). Basically, with natural hair, you can style your hair any sort of way you feel like on any given day, while not introducing your hair to harmful chemicals. OR, you could just wash-n-go and rock your natural tresses as they are un-manipulated. Either way, you can look FIEEERRRCCEEEEEE!!!! (I heart Tyra Banks)

3) Standing Out in a Crowd:
Let's be real. Nowadays, if you are rocking your natural tresses, you will be a minority within the "women/men of color" community. You probably won't look like ANYone else. And even when the time comes when natural hair is the majority, no one's natural hair looks the same as the next. Everyone's natural hair has their own mix of curl patterns, thickness/density, length, and so on. Once transitioning to natural hair, you will ALWAYS stand out because your natural hair will ALWAYS be unique.

4) Gain Self-Confidence:
A large majority of men/women choose to permanently alter their natural hair because they feel like they won't be accepted unless they fit in. Unfortunately, in some places, this is true. However, the time has come when, sadly, the majority of people who don't accept our natural tresses is US. The majority of natural men/women that I know have stated that they get the most negative comments from brothers/sisters in their own community. They get most of their postive comments/compliments from members of the "other race". This is sad. How can they see the beauty in our hair before we do? How long are we going to hang on to the "they did this to us/they brainwashed us/They will never accept us/etc." phrase? Because, yes, some folks think that way, but ALOT of them don't. If you find yourself in an environment where they are still not acceptive to you and your natural hair, then maybe that isn't the place for you! Don't feel as though you MUST conform in order to succeed in this world. Maybe back in the day that was true, to some extent. But even though I can't yet say that Martin Luther King's dream has come to full realization, I can at least say that I have seem IMMENSE improvement. I have been working at my current job for a little over 5 months, where the majority of my co-workers are middle-late aged "white folk" and not ONCE have I had a negative encounter in regards to my hair. I have received many, many compliments on my hair from said "white folk". Yes, every now and then I might receive that "hmmm" look but I know it's just because they're wondering. They're mezmerized at how we get our hair to do the things that it does. They're "interested". That's IT. It's not a condescending look. It's not a snobbish, dirty look. It's not a "you need to do something with that look". It's honestly a "hmmmm" look. A "wow...how does it do that?" look. And that's just fine with me :)

These are just a few of the reasons why one should transition from chemically-treated hair to natural hair.

What are the reasons that YOU used when you decided to transition to natural hair? Share them with us using the "comments" section below. :)  I would love to hear your reasons for choosing to rock your natural hair. For the next post, we will continue with NPPYHR101: Making the Decision - From Relaxed to Natural Pt. II. We will discuss how to handle those who choose to disagree about your decision to transition and how to deal with that. How do you handle family members/friends/co-workers who don't think you should do it. "You wouldn't look right natural" -or- "Your hair is too nappy for that" -or- the all-time favorite "You look better with relaxed hair" *side-eye* Really? Let's show em how it's done.

Look forward to seeing you next time! Stay Tuned! - TheSuperCoya
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